Insights  / Case Study

UCHealth Orthopedic Hospital Growth Leads to New MOB

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system with over 25,000 employees, 12 acute care full-service hospitals, and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming, and western Nebraska.

The health system partnered with Remedy to build an orthopedically focused hospital in the rapidly growing Pikes Peak Park neighborhood of north Colorado Springs. The 58,000 square foot facility is part of UCHealth’s strategic plan to expand its hospital network along the Colorado Front Range and beyond, and is also helping to address the state’s need for improved access to orthopedic and emergency medical care.

Grandview Hospital features 18 deluxe private patient rooms, a four-bed intensive care unit, three advanced operating suites, a comprehensive outpatient surgery center, and advanced imaging and laboratory services. In addition, the location includes a 24/7 emergency department with eight treatment rooms and a triage room, as well as respiratory technicians around the clock. Remedy successfully delivered the project on time and on budget, opening in July 2016.

“UCHealth Grandview Hospital was designed to deliver personalized service and care on par with a nice hotel. Our welcoming community atmosphere, combined with the most advanced medical care, helps ensure our patients receive the very best medical outcomes and are able to go home as soon as possible.”

Andrew Ritchie
Chief Administrative Officer

Boutique Feel for a Growing Community

Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city, is among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Grandview Hospital’s location is adjacent to the booming University Village retail development and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The site is on a high-traffic thoroughfare and is highly visible from I-25, a major north-south interstate highway connecting Colorado Springs to Denver and averaging nearly 100,000 vehicles a day. It’s just 15 minutes from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, as well as major recreational sports destinations like Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and several golf courses.

The Pikes Peak Park neighborhood offers favorable demographics for healthcare consumption, with a population slightly older than the national average (38.3 vs. 37.1 within a 5-mile radius) and an over-65 population expected to increase at nearly double the national rate. Median household income is also higher, which is typically a good indicator of a more favorable payor mix. 

To cater to these demographics, UCHealth leadership requested a high-end look and feel for the hospital similar to what might be found in a boutique hotel. The two-story atrium features a grand staircase with wood and granite finishes that continue into the common areas. Amenities include a children’s play area, a premium coffee station, free Wi-Fi for guests, and a cafeteria serving fresh-made meals and snacks daily. There are also separate entrances for planned procedures and the emergency department.

The Right Services for the Market

The location has proven to resonate with Colorado Springs residents. Since its inception, Grandview Hospital’s medical and surgical admission volume has doubled. In addition, UCHealth has been able to successfully align and integrate both employed and community-based orthopedic surgeons at the location. 

Operating Room Stats

The hospital performs both outpatient and inpatient surgeries, primarily upper and lower extremity joint replacement, such as hips and knees, as well as hand surgery, foot and ankle surgery, and sports injury procedures. The facility also features advanced surgical technology, including robotically assisted hip and knee replacement as well as minimally invasive foot and ankle procedures. The typical inpatient stay is one to two days, although more complex revision surgeries may stay three or four. Patient experience scores finished the most recent fiscal year in the 98th percentile in the country.

Two of the biggest reasons for Grandview Hospital’s success are convenience and access. “It’s the same doctors who work at Memorial North and Memorial Central; they rotate through each,” notes Andrew Ritchie, Grandview’s chief administrative officer. “But whereas you can wait to see a doctor at those hospitals for hours, at Grandview it could be just a few minutes in the waiting room before you’re taken back and seen.”

On the ED side, Grandview usually sees around 1,000 emergency cases a month, and totaled 10,227 in 2019. In spite of its small size, there is 24/7 emergency physician and nurse coverage—and as part of the UCHealth network, patients needing higher-level care, such as neurology or interventional cardiology, are easily transferred to the appropriate major hospital downtown.

“I wanted to thank each of you for the care I received when having a right total hip replacement. From the beginning when I stepped in the door at the registration desk, to those who got me ready for surgery, to those who performed the surgery, to those who cheerfully took care of me afterwards as well as those who cooked meals for me and gave me OT or PT. I appreciated everything you did to help me through this surgery and start me on the way to recovery.”

UCHealth Grandview Hospital patient

Expanding the Medical Campus

Based on the success of the orthopedic hospital, UCHealth has partnered with Remedy again to develop an orthopedic- and sports medicine-focused medical office building on the campus. The new three-story, 65,000 square foot Grandview Medical Center will accommodate the high demand for orthopedic services in the Colorado Springs market and complement services provided in the hospital.

The new medical office building will offer a seven-physician orthopedics clinic, sports medicine-focused primary care, multidisciplinary clinic featuring a variety of specialties, physical therapy clinic, and 7,500 square foot rehabilitation gym on the third floor with a dramatic view of the mountains. Treatment will be bolstered by a strong research partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopedics.

Beyond giving UCHealth’s orthopedic surgeons a new site of practice with improved access to the OR, the new medical office building will improve community access to care. The Grandview Medical Center will also feature a full-service imaging center with the latest imaging technology, including MRI, CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound, and DEXA bone density scans. The imaging center will provide much-needed capacity to provide pre-admission testing services for patients prior to surgery—not just at Grandview Hospital but system-wide, for employed physicians as well as private practices that rely on UCHealth for PAT processing.

In addition to the imaging lab, the orthopedics clinic is designed around its own imaging suite, which includes three general radiology rooms and a CurveBeam HiRise weight-bearing CT machine, a relatively new technology that’s important for diagnosing foot and ankle concerns. The standing CT scanner at Grandview will be one of the first in the nation, and the room it occupies is designed so that it can be outfitted for double duty as a fourth-gen rad room.

“For a better patient experience, we designed the exam pods on the periphery of the centralized imaging rooms, so that people hobbling on crutches if they’ve blown out their knee or ankle have a shorter distance to travel,” says Catherine Demmitt, principal and senior project manager with architect BSA LifeStructures. The clinic was also designed to accommodate one-way directional flow in most suites to increase efficiency and limit disease transmission.

The new building’s placement on the site allowed for an additional 350 parking spaces to be added, alleviating concerns about access to the hospital. The end result is a medical campus that feels human-scaled and welcoming for patients.

“The new medical center will help us connect with patients by allowing us to show them their care journey,” Ritchie adds. “You can come here for your orthopedic surgeon appointment in the clinic, and you can literally see across the parking lot where you’re going to go for your surgery. For your follow-up appointment, you’re coming back to the same place. And then if you need PT, you just go up to the third floor.”

The Remedy Advantage

The project broke ground in August 2019, and the building is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. Remedy worked with UCHealth to include design elements that create continuity with the health system’s other locations, including finishes, color palette, and its signature arch, which appears on the Grandview Medical Center as an entrance canopy.

“This is not your everyday MOB. Remedy is building quite a beautiful facility that in my opinion is far above and beyond what people used to perceive as a developer-built MOB. Compliments to Remedy for taking on that risk and moving it forward.”

Catherine Demmitt
Principal and Senior Project Manager at BSA LifeStructures

As with every one of its developments, Remedy looked for ways to minimize wasted space and increase efficiency in the MOB. For example, an early floor plan for the first floor included a hallway leading from the elevator lobby to a side vestibule. However, this configuration split the orthopedic clinic into two sections. The corridor wasn’t required for emergency egress, and eliminating it resulted in a contiguous layout for the orthopedic clinic as well as a 464 square foot reduction in common area load. By lowering the common area factor to 13.6% from 14.6%, Remedy created a rent savings for UCHealth of $156,000 over the course of its 12-year lease.

$156,00 in rent savings over 12-year lease

“This project has been really well coordinated and managed—probably the least stressful construction experience I’ve gone through in my career,” Ritchie says. “There were some challenges during the planning phase, but Remedy has kept us on time while still remaining flexible. Having that level of trust and communication with your development partner is just tremendous. We sing their praises all the time.”

Remedy can help other health systems optimize their ambulatory footprint and capitalize on submarket successes. Get in touch to learn more.